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travels forward in time

... Five Years Gone ...

I never expected something that was in my head to become such a huge issue. Just the fact that I was relating something through which I lived, as a sort of tribute to someone I lost so many years ago, suddenly became a huge legal issue. Of course I told them I'd made it all up, yet still that fat cop from Homeland Security was ready to blow my brains out because I wouldn't admit that I was lying.

I suppose I should explain myself. I decided I'd piece together a movie kind of thing about Claire. I still can't believe that for someone so young, with regenerative abilities, would die before me. I stood over her grave five years ago while her family mourned nearby. It broke my heart knowing I was never going to have her in my life again. She had a beautiful smile, it just lit up her whole face, and she was so much fun to be around. I hate that she had to suffer through so much before she died. My life was never more exciting than when I shared it with her.

I find it hard to get close to anyone now. I don't want to be filled with this endless sorrow - to know and appreciate someone for everything they were worth only to lose them. It hardly seems worth the time anymore. I put all my effort into what I film now. I try to be innovate, to piece together some kind of story, to find something as spectacular as what I once had the privelege to record. I won't use that footage, never again. I know most of it is destroyed, but I still keep that one tape from when she showed me the second time. Occassionally I'll pull it out and watch it on my laptop and try to convince myself it was real.

I decided I was going to create a production based on Claire's life for my college assignment. Unfortunately Homeland Security hauled me in once they got a whiff of the fact it featured "inhuman abilities". Everyone's so fucking terrified after that explosion in New York. 5 years later and they still think some enhanced freak is going to go all terrorist on the rest of the country. Just because I was doing this film, they simply presumed I was one, or I knew one, or I was hiding one. I've heard these cops kill people for the president. I didn't end up dead, but I still got roughed up majorly. Seriously, I've got bruises to prove the "round of questioning" I went through. And somehow this brute of a guy picked up Claire's name and he started demanding from me where she was. My black heart was so wrenched and split open at his insistence, seeping those pent up emotions I wanted to keep buried. I lost Claire. She left me years ago. And despite what he said, the small glimmers of hope he almost gave me, I had to remind myself she was dead. That's why I wanted to do this for you Claire - one last thing to show you just how much you meant to me.

Circa Ep #17 - "Company Man"

You know I love death and destruction just as much as the next guy, so when I hear a bunch of sirens passing outside I instantly think I should look. And get my camera. There's smoke outside, looks like a fire.

...OMFG CLAIRE'S HOUSE JUST BLEW UP!!!!!!!!!...

I'm gonna... shit... I hope she wasn't home. I hope she was at the hospital. I hope Mr Muggles hit the oven lighter and made himself a hot dog. Shit. Not Claire. I know she's indestructable. Fuck. I better go look. I couldn't live with myself if I sat here and did nothing.

Circa Ep #14 - "Distractions"

It's amazing to see the workings of Claire Bennet. I honestly didn't know whether her mother would believe we were skipping school for a field trip to the aquarium. But, it seems, that having me there as backup support provided a win-win arguement. Not that I had anything much to do with it. So long as I was driving it seemed.

So, it's funny you know, how my parents would just give me their car and go buy a new one. I mean, it was really out of the blue - either a very early birthday present or a very late one rolled into Christmas. It was almost... as if they were trying to buy me off. I can't really afford to maintain it, but I try. I just got the oil changed, and the only tickets I've ever gotten were parking ones (it really is easy to get distracted sometimes or not see signs). Claire's mom's so nice though, inviting me to dinner and all. I felt wrong for lying to her. What if we needed proof? But Claire had it covered - a Motel 6 stolen aquarium brochure and online tickets she'd printed out. She's really freaking out about this. She even seemed worried that I would tell. I wouldn't. I know we have to keep this to ourselves. And it's important to her.

When we got to Kermit, I thought she was going to completely back out. She seemed to be hit with those sudden case of nerves where you feel like you're doing the wrong thing. But I knew if she left, she would always wonder. And she ran every worst case scenario over in her mind. The fact that her mom lived in a trailer park and not a penthouse seemed to dissuade her even further. But I know you should never judge a book by it's cover - she could just be a boho, someone who's a wandering gypsy with a sense of adventure. It didn't necessarily mean she had a bad life and Claire would just be here to make it worse. It didn't mean that she was so disfigured she had to hide away as Claire seemed to suggest. Claire survived and she survived - there was already one thing they had in common and could talk about. She didn't need me. This was her life, something she had to deal with on her own, and though she was frightened I left her. Just so she couldn't back out. Mind you I came back in time to grab her before dinner, because I didn't want her to get into any trouble, and I really couldn't miss out on the food!

However when we got back to Claire's place it was late, and we weren't welcomed with the reception I expected. I know it was getting dark outside, but Mrs Bennet was pissed! And I didn't know why. But then... we were being lectured about skipping school. It was like... she didn't remember. And I held up the pamphlett to show her, hoping that could convince her we had been there, but... something was really wrong with Mrs B. She started getting headaches and she didn't know what was going on. I was really confused. But then, as she went up the stairs, it occured to me that that was exactly what happened to me. That was how I had acted. And it's no wonder Claire thought I was completely weird when suddenly the whole day had disappeared in a fade-to-black moment.

Circa Ep #13 - "The Fix"

Ever get the feeling you're part of something much bigger than you ever thought you were? Today felt like that. I feel like I'm playing a part in some big mystery movie, thrown into the role of computer geek because of my social standing. At least that's the way Claire seems to think about me LOL She thinks cause I have a laptop and know my way around a computer that I can hack into anything. Not quite true (I'm mainly just putting together movies), but it provided an eventful day for us anyway.

She was sure her father was keeping some information about her or her parents on the family computer. We checked through every file we could and turned up nothing. There were plenty of paper-related reports, and a few odd things that looked like Lyle's, family pictures, pictures Claire had put up of her and Jackie and the cheerleading team... but nothing that made him look like the criminal she believed him to be. I mean, there wasn't even any porn! Crazy, huh? I have to wonder how his system could be so clean.

Anyway, he managed to surprise us because he was supposed to be at work. Although Claire didn't think he'd be home, it was thanks to that little mutt Mr Muggles and his persistent yap that alerted us to his arrival. I pushed Claire away and tried to shut down everything as quick as I could, racing after her into the kitchen to pretend we weren't doing anything suspicious, and he walked in saying he forgot his cell. The moment he looked at me and told me he was surprised to see me there, I thought "oh shit". We had been so worried about getting caught on the computer, we'd both completely forgotten about the prospect of being caught together. Quick thinking saved the day, we managed to construe a story between the two of us about some biology project for the Manatee that we'd been allocated to do together. I have to say, it was a nice save by Claire to tell him we'd been using the computer for research. I wasn't sure if he completely bought it cause he pretty much wanted to get rid of me to talk to her, but I managed to carry on nontheless. Claire seemed to have forgotten and told me to go to her room, so I looked at her like I had no idea where it was, and she skillfully played along and told me. Once she arrived in her room we were free to talk on normal terms again, but she totally confused me, grabbing these windchimes and saying she had to talk to someone who could give her some answers. I don't know how hanging windchimes in your window does that, but anyway... she's weird, but she's cool.

So after a very brief stop at the library later that day to pick up a manatee book that would back up our story, we headed just out of town to the Burnt Toast Diner, where no-one could see us together, and maybe we'd be safe from being caught. I brought my Dell laptop along for the ride, and over fries and soda we skimmed old news articles from the Odessa register back in 1992. On February 28th of that year we discovered an article that proclaimed "Apartment Fire Kills 7". It was the closest thing to any kind of tradgedy we could come up with in Kermit that long ago. Claire, seriously, I don't know where she got the information but it sounded really familiar. And then Claire teased me cause maybe the reason Kermit was familiar to me was because of "the frog" haha. Anyway, this article said that the fire started at 2am on the 3rd floor in a tiny one bedroom apartment, and seemed to be caused by a mass explosion. It ripped through the entire building. I'm guessing this "Meredith Gordon" and the baby were in that apartment. She was all disappointed to find it was true (except for the her dying part), but I suggested she could have family still out there - an aunt, a rich eccentric uncle. She wasn't happy at all, but I pointed out to her that if she could get hold of them they might point her in the direction of her father. He was a bigger mystery than her mother after all. I think she's going to call around. Any piece of information is one step closer to her finding out who her real parents are/were. Even if she ends up with nothing in the end, I'll still be here for her.

Ep #12 - Godsend

OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just saw the CRAZIEST thing!

Okay I'll start from the beginning. I'm the first to admit my mind has been a little... broken lately. I keep losing track of things. I don't understand anything that's going on. I can't seem to remember things that I just did 2 seconds ago. Hell, I can't even remember posting that last journal entry. And it seems really weird to me considering we haven't been at school for two weeks. Yep, that's right, they shut the whole thing down because of Jackie. She finally did make a difference and get her 15 mins of fame like she always wanted.

You know I've been having these weird, fragmented dreams lately. They're like overly familiar sections of my life that I feel I know, but however hard I try I can't remember them. The latest mad rush included some dark guy, Claire falling through the air without a parachute. Me screaming no. Me screaming Claire's name. Do you know how terrifying it is to scream yourself awake? It's really hard, in those first 10 minutes, to convince yourself that what you just saw wasn't real.

The first time I saw Claire again was when school opened. She caught me coming in on my bike. Admittedly, I was surprised. Last time I saw her she seemed completely flipped out. I was distrustful of her, sure, she is a cheerleader after all - one of the popular kids. I mocked her, you know, cause normally she wouldn't be caught dead around me, but she was really serious when she said she needed to talk. Again that thought crossed my mind that she was on something, so I decided to play along with her whole "body-snatch" theory to find out what the hell she wanted. We passed Jackie's memorial and I gave Claire my condolences - they were best friends after all. Their friendship lasted longer than ours ever did. And I started to wonder if maybe it was Jackie's death that was making her act like a total freak. Maybe something triggered in her, you know, out of grief? Or, like, shock at witnessing it. I mean, all the details are hazy, I can't even remember that night...

You know what the weird thing was? We both seemed to have been shaken up in the memory department pretty badly. I don't know how to explain it, and I never expected she would understand... She ordered me to look at her. I could see that heartbreak in her eyes and yet I didn't know why she was looking at me like that. She kept making all these weird references about our friendship. I don't think we'd ever be friends, not in a million years. C'mon - a geek and a princess? Doesn't quite add up does it?

She pleaded with me in the afternoon as school was let out to come with her to the oil rig because she needed to show me something. She insisted I bring my camera. She told me she was going to try to help me remember. I decided to play along, just this once, because I knew she'd never leave me alone otherwise. And for all the jokes I made (which I apparently also made last time), nothing could prepare me for the shock I was about to receive. I kept the camera focused on her as she climbed the stairs, zooming in when she reached the top. I started to zoom out as I saw her climb the fence. And then she jumped. Just like that schizo dream I had, Claire was falling before my eyes. I stopped looking at the viewfinder and I just stared open-mouthed at her plummeting form. Sure she sounded depressed about never meeting her real parents, but to commit suicide and have me film it? This was like the ultimate stunt. How could she even think her real parents wanted to see that? The girl was broken, not only inside but soon to be out. Natural instinct took over as I raced towards her, yelling out her name. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind - like how could we get an ambulance out to the middle of nowhere in time to keep her from dying too? I didn't even care what the camera was fliming, but I had no time to turn it off. And before I could launch into full-scale panic (believe me, I was nearly there) I stopped dead in my tracks as she stood before me AND PUSHED HER RIB BACK INTO HER CHEST!!!! I was dumbfounded. I qickly lifted the camera and put it back on her, and she just... the damage just seemed to fade away and repair itself. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!? This is the single coolest thing to happen in Odessa since... I don't know when. I can't believe this girl, this formerly-perky little cheerleader, has SUPER powers! And she trusted ME with this! Those freaky dreams have started falling into place now with everything she's been telling me. I think she's right. I think she is telling me the truth.

Between episodes...

Uh... okay. I don't know what the hell's going on here, but I'm as confused as hell. I think I'm going crazy. Really, I do. How have I managed to lose so much over the past few weeks? And school, school is driving me mental! People keep harrassing me about Claire. I don't... I don't know. I don't understand. What the hell are they on about? I freaking lost it in the end. I just turned around and snapped and told them to shutup and stop hassling me. It's one thing to feel like I've lost a whole section of my life, it's another to have everyone say "Ooh but your Claire's best friend!" and "Didn't she punch Jackie out for you? That was cool." and "Hey, how's the girlfriend?" GIRLFRIEND???? WHAT girlfriend? Man, oh man, I'm ... the whole school can't be lying. Maybe they're having me on about the girlfriend thing, but when people keep mentioning Claire to me...

I found these little "vote Claire" leaflet things up the back of my locker. Not just one, but a pile of them. And, and... there's this book. Okay, it's not that I actually have the book, it's missing. But I have all these invoices and things from Amazon telling me I bought this book called "Activating Evolution". We're not studying it in class. So why would I buy it? Why don't I have it? I tried chasing up some info on it, it's some... some freaky thing about people with enhanced genetics that can like read minds and... and regenerate. I mean, it's really cool, it sounds awesome, but... why? Where is it? Why don't I remember purchasing it? And it's not just that. My tapes. I don't understand how I'm missing so many.

I'm so confused, I don't understand. And I can't talk to Claire, I just can't. I don't know what to say. What am I meant to say when I don't understand myself? So I've been doing things the sneaky way, I've been trying to listen in on what she's saying. It's really strange, she's gone back to being the perky perfect cheerleader, as if her best friend didn't just die. Even that seems weird to me. I'm sure I've seen her moping before. This just seems so... fake. Maybe she is on something.

Anyway I have an idea. She was talking about going out past the tracks, to the oil field. I think I should follow her. I don't want to like stalk her or anything but somehow I think she's the answer to all this. Somehow I think she, in her crazy mind and totally mixed up world, knows something that I don't. I guess we'll just wait and see. And this time I'll make sure to have my camera loaded.

Circa Ep #11 - "Fallout"

You know what the bad thing about life is? Sometimes it scares you. Sometimes, despite all your best intentions, things go wrong in the worst kind of way. It’s my fault, you know. I put her in danger. I left her there. How could I do that? Like, I don’t know how I could have helped, and Claire is pretty invincible, but c’mon – Brody managed to kill her before, and he’s only a high school jock, nowhere near a serial killer. But do you know how much I freaked when I heard? I get to school and everybody is saying a cheerleader was killed last night. Instantly I thought Claire, I hadn’t heard from her. I tried to call but got no answer, and she wasn’t at school. Then by lunch I heard. She’d been to the police station. She was okay. But she needed to see me after school and she told me to bring any tapes that I still had. I didn’t realise I still had three lying around. I didn’t know what she needed them for. Hell, I didn’t think at all, I was just happy to know she wasn’t hurt. But Jackie… some of the people she’d tormented were happy she was gone. I got like 4 different text messages about it. It was like some sick celebratory thing to rejoice over the popular cheerleader’s downfall in the most gruesome of ways. I didn’t have details, neither did anyone else. The only one who had really seen what happened was Claire.

Despite the hush they were trying to blanket over the school, it wasn’t hard to see what had happened – between the bloody banner and the locker doors ripped from their hinges, the shattered glass and the bloodstains on the concrete, the change rooms being completely off limits and the gossip floating around school, it was kind of hard to avoid.

Seeing Claire again was like a breath of fresh air. She has this certain light about her, it just brightens your day. I gave her the tapes and she proceeded to stomp on them til they were just mangled pieces of plastic and film. Don’t think they’re gonna play again. Her dad must have found out cause she said he was worried I’d tell someone about Claire, what she can do. I haven’t said a word in 2 weeks! What makes him think I’m gonna talk?

Hang on, someone’s at the door…

A few hours later

I’ve got the worst headache. I must have dozed off on my headphones or something. My phone woke me though. And guess who was calling? Claire. Yes THE Claire. The one who barely even acknowledges my presence anymore. She hasn’t spoken to me since, like, the sixth grade. And out-of-the-blue she’s calling me, freaking out and telling me I have to come meet her at the football field, that there’s an emergency. Seriously, I just felt like hanging up and tossing the phone across the room without a care. But, you know, I actually considered something might be wrong so I got on my bike and went down there.

What I met was, like, the weirdest thing. She was ranting about Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something, telling me that nobody remembered… I don’t know. What was I supposed to know? She confused the hell out of me. I swear she’s on something. Crystal Meth maybe. She was acting really un-Claire like, and even though I thought it was a prank at first it became quite clear by her irrational behaviour that it wasn’t. She ran off before I could make any sense out of her.

I’m wondering, though. I know I haven’t got the best memory, but I appear to be missing at least 3 or 4 tapes out of my new set, and I can’t find them anywhere. Maybe Claire expects me to remember I lost a tape… but that’s just stupid since they have nothing to do with each other. I wonder if she’ll be at school tomorrow. It’ll pay to see if she’s acting totally cracky again.

Circa Ep #10 - "Six Months Ago"

travels back in time

...six months ago...

High school is such a travesty. Here I was thinking we could spring a little hope cause, for once, there was a pretty girl living four lockers down from me who wasn't one of the Union Wells elite. In fact she seems a little... genuine. Especially for someone who's such good friends with Jackie. But I overheard Jackie and, um, Claire I think her name is along with 'the sheep' having a little discussion around the locker about cheerleading. And if I heard right, Claire's now on the team. Woe is me, bearing witness to another helpless soul swallowed up by this illusion that 'popularity' is the most achievable thing for any high school student.

Of course there's the other spectrum of the scale - unpopularity. I'm quite happy to remain in the section that's not full of sniping and backstabbing. I'm quite happy to be who I am and not pretend otherwise. But there's two sides to this end of the scale - the people who go unnoticed, and the people who are brought about into the spotlight. The latter of course is inflated by people such as Jackie (who can't seem to keep her mouth shut) whenever they latch onto a juicy tidbit of gossip. Latest victim... Lori Trammel. They're calling her the school slut now. My opinion? Well I normally don't give a damn, but I can tell you I don't believe a word of it. Lori's one of the nice girls, the ones that are so quiet they generally go unnoticed until the day one of the 'popular' boys suddenly gains an interest in them. It's all very "She's All That" I have to say. I hear the boys talk in the locker room, and believe me Brody's little assertions of "She wanted it. She was asking for it." is all pure bravado. Lori's the wallflower that's going to require 15 years of therapy because she happened to be the one that caught Brody's eye and he made a mockery of her. I feel sorry for the girl. Him? Not so much.

In other news... my directorial debut is going pretty well. "Zombie Lords from Hell" I've called it. I'm no Peter Jackson, but I'd really like to see how this one is going to shape up. I'll need a lot of props and things. I finished scouting locations for it and I've brought my camera to school to do some mock scenes. I think I'll have to pay a visit to the drama club and see what I can shake out of them in regards to help. I'm sure plenty of them are looking for certain stardom, even if it is in some B-Grade (or maybe it's C-grade... what do you call a film with no crew but me?) movie.

Circa Ep #9 - "Homecoming"

Mission accomplished. The principal put up the Homecoming Queen announcements today and apparently my campaign worked. I couldn’t help but feel a little smug when I saw Claire’s surprise and the look on Jackie’s face! Priceless. You know, I’m happy that Claire’s happy. Now she has a little piece of her old life back. At least she feels valued because, you know, it really isn’t right that people like Jackie are making her feel like crap. What she did to Brody, yeah that was wrong (though I did say to her something had to be done. I feel like some guilty accomplice for even putting the idea in her head) but she doesn’t deserve to be exiled in case we lose the season. They really don’t have much faith in the Wildcats, do they? I mean, I have school spirit! Got the sticker on the inside of my locker and all (yeah, I do my bit for the community).

This leads to my second surprise for the day. So we know I have this love for Pirates of the Caribbean, yeah? Crazy little monkey. .. Anyway, um like a week ago I was checking out the bio for Jonathan Pryce and I saw he did this World War I epic called Regeneration which is about these two soldiers who get sent to an asylum for emotional troubles, and they’re like two of England’s most important poets – Wilfred Owen & Siegfried Sassoon. And, yeah, as I was saying I was looking at it and went “oh, is that like the book?” and it was, so I started googling around for it and ended up over at Amazon… one thing leads to another and this makes my brain click and I think of Claire’s powers and decide, you know, it’d be nice to maybe help her out a little with her whole knowledge-quest instead of her just throwing herself in front of a car every second day or whatever. So I started searching for info on spontaneous regeneration and I found this book called “Activating Evolution” which is all about people with special abilities and stuff – you know like telepathy and teleportation and stuff. Claire’s no Uri Gellar, but c’mon the dude who wrote this is a genetics professor! So he must know something, right? So I thought, you know, I’d order it and see what it’s like. Maybe give it to Claire. Actually the whole point was to give it to Claire. There’s supposedly a chapter about spontaneous regeneration in there so, like, I was kind of hoping it’d help. Anyway, I gave it to her today. I hid it right up the back of my locker where no-one could see it cause I could just imagine someone happening to walk by, like Jackie, to make more of a point of what a freak I was. Not that she didn’t take the opportunity once I gave Claire the book. But first, you know, Claire… she went all… I dunno… strange. It freaked me out some cause I wasn’t sure what she was reacting to, but apparently she was marveling over my niceness – as if it was a quality you had to work at. I can’t help what comes naturally. Mind you it was like she was making a promise to herself to try harder, and I challenged her to. I’d like to see her be the better person. It’s beneath her to act as shallow and crude as the rest of them. Funny though, I never expected Claire to defend me. Usually she just mumbles an agreement or pulls away with the popular kids if something like that happens. She normally pretends not to be a part of it, or not to know me. But Jackie, I can’t believe it, those two used to be tight as – and she belted her! Full on soccer punched her in the face.

Anyway, her dad grounded her for it. On her biggest night of all things. So I took it upon myself to ‘rescue’ the girl. I dropped by her place once it was dark enough and grabbed a couple of rocks from the garden, tossing them up against her window since the light was on. Unfortunately I’m not that strong, and my aim was rather off, so few made it up there. But, hey, we live in the new age now – no need for those bygone era type of things. So I texted her. Told her what I was doing. Told her to open it. By the time she did so, I already had the ladder in position and was halfway up. She took a little convincing to break the rules, but soon she was gleefully agreeing… and then asked me to be her date. I was gobsmacked. Seriously. What could I say? There were so many problems with that. Apart from not expecting it. Okay, no, I know it looks really simple, but it’s not. I wasn’t worried about being teased. I was worried about her reputation, my reputation (since when do I ever worry about that?), our friendship, putting myself into the spotlight, being labeled… I wasn't even planning to go. And, just, everything could go completely wrong with that one simple answer. Yeah, maybe I think too much. That’s probably the problem. But, you know, I’m happy with who I am. I just want Claire to be happy now, that’s my main concern. I don’t give a shit about Jackie or anyone else at that school’s opinion of me. I only really care about Claire. Who couldn’t love her? Really. The adorably perky cheerleader from Union Wells who actually has a heart. It’s nice to break stereotype every once in a while. Nobody should have to force themselves to fit into some kind of mold. Nobody should have to deny who they really are.

Circa Ep #8 (Prior to Homecoming)

Usually I wouldn't be very excited about Homecoming, but this year is different. This year it's Claire's turn to shine. If anyone deserves to be Homecoming Queen, it's her. God knows 'Hometown Hero' Jackie doesn't need another false accolade added to her name. She thinks she's queen of all things. She needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

Now I know Claire's popular, but when she's so reluctant to put herself in the spotlight (though it IS great she can be modest), she leaves the pathway wide open for Jackie to get on her high horse. I know it pisses Claire off (yes, Claire, the "they should put her UNDER the fire truck" comment didn't go unnoticed). So, shhh, here's the plan. Don't tell Claire this, but I've been secretly recruiting my other buddies at school to vote her Homecoming Queen. Yes, I'm sure with the "Freaks United" club we can JUST push her count past Jackie's. It'll be awesome. I can't wait to see her face - she's going to be so thrilled! And, hey, after all the effort she's put into this with the bake sale and the decorations, it should rightfully go to her. Thankfully it's keeping her preoccupied enough not to notice what I'm doing.

CLAIRE FOR HOMECOMING QUEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!